Posts Tagged ‘Bookmarks’

Back from ComicCon

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

So, how was ComiCon, you ask? If humanly possible, I’m going back next year for the whole thing and I’m bringing my son and nephew and one or both of my bothers.

My wonderful publisher, Hachette Book Group (Grand Central Publishing) came up with a badge for me so I could attend Friday and sign the copies of My Forbidden Desire they were giving away. I flew down and back on Friday, which is doable because it’s only an hour flight from here.

Huge thank you to Nick Small of Hachette who came out to give me my badge, escort me to the booth and help get me set up and ready to sign. I’m also glad that was at 9:00 am before the con was officially open, because after that — madhouse.

The signing was FUN and my gosh the books were just gone as fast as I could sign them. Everyone was so nice and friendly. It didn’t hurt that a Twilight give away was about to start, too. Hachette Books, in case you didn’t know, also publishes Stephanie Meyer.

Now, who doesn’t love free books, right? But good golly, there were a lot of people who were excited to meet me (yes, me!) because they had read my books and loved them or who had orders from others to get my book. There were a number of people who read the back of the book and were pretty excited about reading it. PLUS! I remembered to bring bookmarks for My Wicked Enemy and My Forbidden Desire so everyone got bookmarks, too. The extras were gone pretty quickly, too. So, authors, if you sign at ComiCon, bring LOTS of bookmarks. If I’d brought a thousand of each, I think they would have disappeared. Frankly, I think if I’d brought thousands of each they’d have been picked up.

I love talking about books and Hachette had some of my favs out there, including Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper which I think is just a really excellent book so I couldn’t help pimping that a bit.

After the signing, I took a bit to breathe and then I wandered around the exhibit hall, which let me let you is a lot of walking. There’s a great mix of commercial/corporate stuff — glitz! Glamor! Big displays!! and small presses, artists, comics… just really astounding. I wish I knew more about the comics biz because there were artists there drawing stuff and selling their artwork and I’m a doofus over artwork.

Then I decided to attend a few panels only I didn’t have a schedule thingee and I’m ashamed to confess that I also didn’t know who anyone who anyone was, so I just picked a few. I hit paydirt on my first one. Artist David Yardin gave a great talk on creating a comic book cover. Here’s his portfolio

What I loved about his talk, aside from the gorgeous artwork, was his story about how he got into the business. It’s instructive to writers, too. He’s from Australia, which doesn’t have the professional Comics industry the US does but he knew his work was pretty close to professional level. He was getting great feedback but he knew he needed to get himself to the next level. What he did was search out advice and (hugely paraphrasing here, and making observations David did not) since professionals get excited about talented people and want to help them, David did find just such a professional. He worked on his craft with this man (whose name I know I should have recognized but didn’t, sorry). He studied hard. Really, really hard. And he internalized what he was being taught and applied that to his work. He said he spent hours and hours just drawing arms, for example.

What was clear is that David wasn’t just passionate. He wanted to learn. Or more appropriately, even though he knew he was good, he knew he needed to be even better. And he made it happen. That’s a lesson for writers too. Don’t just complain about how hard it is to get published. Study your craft intensely and always be working to get better.

After that session I got in this astoundingly long line for someone named R. Rodriguez who I figured must be a big deal on account of the long line. (Ducking!!) Yeah. Director Robert Rodriguez who started out with his hit El Mariachi which he made for $8,000 in two weeks because he had to give the camera back in two weeks. Then he went on to make movies you might have heard of, like Spy Kids and Grindhouse and lots of others. He was really funny and told a lot of amusing stories.

I popped in on a couple more sessions and wandered around a lot. I tried to find Marjorie M. Liu’s signing but my lack of a program guide and my general inability to tell right from left meant I wandered around aimlessly and with my luck probably passed her twice without seeing her.

There are lots of ComiCon attendees who dress up. I saw lots of Klingons, several Wonder Women, Spiderman, Jedi Knights, Storm Troopers and lots of others as well as costumes I was unable to identify. Some of the costumes, male and female, were uhm, ill advised, in my opinion but ultimately, it’s all about having fun and everyone was having fun.


Monday on Tuesday? What?

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Had the day off work today on account of the President’s Day holiday. I spent it mostly doing taxes. At least I can mail them tomorrow.

Contest and Bookmark news

I picked my contest winners for my Newsletter subscriber only contest. Books are being mailed out tomorrow — except for one person who hasn’t supplied a mailing address yet.

Bookmarks will start going out tomorrow, too. Wow, it’s a lot of work.

My critique contest is still open. Leave an entry.


Today I was sitting in the car reading while my son was with his Math tutor – today they started on square roots, which his class hasn’t gotten to yet. Glad to see the review is over and they’ve moved past his classwork. The kid needs to be challenged. Anyway, the Math guy lives pretty close to us, which means he’s almost as in the boonies as we are. I was parked in the airquotes parking lot airquotes from which you can only kind of see the road, mostly it was just trees and green fields. It was really pretty. All of a sudden it got dark. I looked up from my book and saw the clouds overhead were dark dark dark gray. Two seconds later it was pouring so hard I could hardly see out the window. Very dramatic. We’re so rain-starved here that even after a weekend of pretty frequent and hard rain the roads still aren’t flooded.


The book I was reading, I’m sorry to say, was very nearly a Did Not Finish (DNF) even though it was by an author I normally enjoy quite a lot. I read the last 1/3 very quickly. A disappointment.

I started another of my iPhone Harlequin’s and DNF it. Not good for me. Then I started another one and it’s fantastic so far. Wow. I can’t wait to get back to it.

Stupid Author Moves

Another author I won’t mention took it upon herself to sign me up for her newsletter and then spammed me with her stupid newsletter. Man, you can’t do that. Really. Don’t. I don’t want your stupid newsletter. If I did, I’d already be a subscriber. I’m just hopping mad. Deleted the email and removed myself from her list. File this under Stupid Author Moves.

Anyway, gotta work tomorrow. Which means get up early. Which means go to bed early. Think I will do so very soon.


First the status post

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I fail to understand how I can be NOT on deadline and actually feel like I’m busier and more stressed out than when I am. And yet, this is so. Possibly it’s because I’m no longer ignoring all the stuff I shouldn’t really ignore.


I think there’s something to be said for ignorance.

I found someone to re-do my website and I’m ponying up enough of the green stuff that this time it will be done without me needing to go in and fix (or ignore) stuff that isn’t right under the hood. A timely decision (not really) because my agent just told me I need to carefully differentiate my historicals from my paranormals on my website and blog. Ah, I was able to say to her, I’m having my website redone in the next month or so. The reason I said the decision was "not really" timely is that I started my search and query of designers back in October. I just don’t have the time to fix things anymore. Just don’t.

I took all my 2008 tax receipts out of the tax receipt box and stuffed them in a big old envelope which is now on my desk guilting me about not having put them in excel yet. I will I will!!

Paid bills. Some big ones. urk.

Wrote two (2) synopses in fewer than 10 days. Gack! Waiting to hear back from my agent on them as they will surely need revisions before they get sent off to NY.

Waded though masses of emails because of my bookmarks ending up on freebie sites. 833 requests which I am starting to deal with now (see below). A really, really surprising number mention they are book fans. Hey. Maybe I’ll sell a few books. Got my first request from Russia. I won’t be really excited until someone from China wants one. The Baidu bot crawls my site but I don’t know if I make it past the Great Firewall or not. Maybe I can get Marjorie M. Liu to check for me next time she’s there.

Waded through another mass of emails from my newsletter announcement that Scandal is officially out. I am giving away some books to subscribers only. A LOT of people opened that email. Not very many unsubscribes. I thought there’d be more from people who only signed up because of a previous contest. I’m glad to see them drop off. I only want people who love me on my newsletter list.

Organized more emails about my Critique Contest which is open to anyone. Leave a comment in the post below if you’re interested.

Got my Scandal bookmarks approved and ordered. They should be here shortly. Which means no more ignoring 833 emails about bookmarks. I decided to hold them until I had the Scandal bookmarks.

I did other stuff, too, but it’s way more boring than the stuff I already bored you with.

You’re getting off easy. I, however, did not.


Brain Dead. Rats.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I had this totally amusing post to write but first I had to do a bazillion other things like try to stay on top of the bookmark requests. This weekend I will prep a bunch for mailing unless I decide to hold them until I get my bookmarks for Scandal and My Forbidden Desire. I emailed all the new people who didn’t provide a name and address, too.

Then someone sent me a 10 GB file three times only I don’t have broadband. I refuse to count satellite as broadband. It’s not nano-band like dial up but it’s still narrrow-band. My internet choked for quite a while. Urk. Then I had to send out an announcement for Scandal for the Regency Reader since they’re doing February releases and since I needed to include the cover art that was a big attachment going upstream. I also had to view the revised book trailer for Scandal which I think rocks but I had to send it Megan F for outside opinion. Another big attachment going out.

After that I had to completely rewrite my "Proposal Blurbs" which my agent wants to send on to my editor before Friday. I did a complete re-do. Complete. I kept the names. That’s it. But I got all three done with relatively low pain once I remembered that should I get to write these books, I’m not likely to stick with those plots. On the other hand, I found it was remarkably useful to write them as I am now much more focused on the central conflicts, and from there, my friends, even Carolyn can write a novel. Blurbs have been sent.

In between all that I had to feed the dog, spend some time with Soccer Boy, feed him dinner (gnocchi and sausage), show him how to back up his iPhone, uninstall crapware from his computer, report my Golden Heart scores to RWA and do laundry.

Also, I went through my stack of RWA books and found I have duplicates of duplicates. I feel a contest coming on.

That’s why I forgot the amusing topic for tonight’s blog.

Now to bed.



Monday, January 12th, 2009

This weekend I was in Lemoore California for a soccer tournament. 6 hours to get there with Friday traffic and a stop for dinner. 5 hours to get back on Sunday. Thank goodness I wasn’t driving. The woman I drove down with is in a book club and my main job, aside from monitoring the GPS and the boys in the back seat, was to talk to her about books so that she stayed alert. No problem! I can blab about books all day. Six hours of book blabbing was no big deal.

Through the magic of my iPhone, I was able to check email pretty much whenever I felt like it. On Saturday I started getting email requests for bookmarks. Cool, I said to myself. A bit later, it wasn’t really a few, it was over a hundred. As it stands right now there are 360. DON’T do the math. It’s deductible I tell myself. A fair number actually checked out my website and even said they liked my books. Are they all lying? I don’t know why they would. I spent quite a while tonight going through and emailing the people who neglected to include a name and/or address.

The thing is, a bit of Googleing reveals that some people are doing more than emailing for the bookmark. They are checking me out. (waving!!!) and thinking about me and my books. (Yes, Carolyn Jewel’s books rock, you should read them!! Feel free to use your bookmark in my books when opportunity arises.)

My bookmarks are, of course, all purpose and can be used in any book. If you’re a ninja you could probably take someone out with one, though I must say, I consider that an unauthorized and unwise use of a bookmark.

The next best part is the origins: most from the US as you’d expect. But also, Jordan, Spain, Lithuania, Malaysia, India, the UK and Canada. I get a kick out of sending bookmarks overseas. Once, I sent some to Nigeria.

In writing news, I have to work on the paranormal blurbs. But my agent has given me detailed feedback so I have to go write better blurbs for books I won’t ever write — meaning before anyone panics, that what I do write won’t resemble whatever blurb I write.

I have some other writing-related reading to do, too. I’m not ignoring you, Megan! I’ve been emailing all freaking night!

While I was traveling or not watching soccer, I finished Jessica Anderson’s Nightkeepers which I really enjoyed. Then I started The Earl and His Butler in Constantinople which isn’t fiction. It’s pretty interesting. I wish it had come sooner, though. Now I’m reading Diana Holquist’s Sexiest Man Alive which is really cute so far.

Off to read stuff and whatever.


Stuff and Stuff. Bascially.

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I’ve been working on The Next Historical which has now so fundamentally changed from the days when I decided the working title should be The List, that every time I see that title I think What book is that?

So, from this day until I say different, The List is now officially The Next Historical (TNH)

The story now opens in Aleppo, Syria. I was toying with the notion of handling the story the way I did with the flashback chapters in Scandal but when I decided to write one to see if it worked, but mostly because I really really wanted to write the scene I had in mind, it turned out to be the real opening. We’ll see how this holds up.

In other news, I’m up too late. OK, so that’s not really news. But it’s still true.

Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to email me about My Wicked Enemy. Lots of kind words make a writer feel good! Also, bookmarks are going out tomorrow. I have to buy more envelopes even after I found the missing box on the floor with a few envelopes left. I’ll send the rest after I remember to buy more.

Oh, and don’t forget! Time’s running out to join my newsletter and be automatically entered in my Wicked Cool Contest. Go sign up!

What you get with the newsletter: automatic entry in contests, advance notice of releases, and a warm and fuzzy feeling for being so cool as to like my writing enough to be on my mailing list.

Off to bed.


Have Laptop, Will Travel

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Tomorrow morning we head 120 miles southeast to Ripon CA for more soccer. If my son’s team wins, we stay the night for another game Sunday. If not, we come home Saturday. I have my GPS and am hardly stressed at all with respect to the once-certainty of getting lost. I’m having a hard time calculating when to leave because I no longer need to factor in getting lost. Strange. Very strange. I have the laptop ready to go in case I have some afternoon and evening time.

Yesterday, I sat in the car during soccer practice since practice was from 4:00 until too-dark-to-see-the-ball and got LOADS done. I more than exceeded even the secret minimum. For one thing, I was working on an idea I had on the way home from work yesterday and it involved a new chapter or two inserted early on. I wrote one of those in the car and after we got home and got settled etc, I fixed it up. I’ll be continuing on with that. But I also need to get my historical proposal to my agent. I don’t think I have a synopsis for it, so I need to work on that. Ick.

What else? Oh, right. This is a writer’s diary so yeah. I do have a release, Shards of Crimson and the usual review stuff is going on. As ever, people either love my stuff or hate it. There’s so rarely an in between. One review I’m not sure what to think of because it was riddled with misspellings and other language issues. I’m doing pretty well at avoiding Stupid Web Tricks, but some review links have come my way and I didn’t delete the emails fast enough. I don’t need the stress. But, just to give a flavor, one review said DX was outstanding, and another said it was the weakest of the stories. Geez, I’m stressing just writing about it. See, this isn’t good for me.

In other news, the bookmark requests have trailed off from 40 a day to 3-5 a day. There must have been upwards of 150 or more. About 10-15 people also signed up for my newsletter. I still have a few Crimson City Safety Tip Cards, so I’m still sending newsletter subscribers a free set. Quite a few of the bookmark requests were from other countries: Canada, several from Italy, then Pakistan and India to bring up the rear. No other countries that I can recall. So, why so many from Italy? Why none from France or Spain or Asia? A couple of nights my son and I sat down and stuffed and stamped envelopes.

Now, I’m going to get into bed and start on one of the RITA books. With luck, I’ll get to sleep early and then, off to Ripon.